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“One reason is, I have not the time; my hours out of school are all occupied in sawing wood.”

I know it; and I told you, to commence with, you would have to give that up. “ 'Tis impossible. I feel obliged to do it." But you

need not feel so- —the school is free, there is no tuition to

pay,
and

you board with your motherso that costs you nothing.”

“ But this blue coat on my back is not paid for. My mother is poor; 'tis all she can do to board me.”

“This pretty blue coat was a present; why do you speak of its not being paid for ?"

“Because I cannot accept it as a present, and I shall never feel free and independent till it is paid for."

“ But Mr. Lane does not expect you to pay for it, and, more than this, he will not let you pay for it. He is a rich man, and loves dearly to give to those that need." “ That makes no difference. I must pay for

my

coat. My father would never allow himself to become an object of charity, and I am his true son. His hands brought him independence, and mine must do the same for me. You have always had wealth, Harry, and know nothing about feeling dependent, and receiving gifts."

"You are partly right, David. I do know nothing about the feeling you describe, yet I am as dependent as you are. Every thing I have, I receive ; and many are the gifts I have taken, and never once thought of sawing wood to pay for them."

No, because you have other means at your command.”

“ And I do not use them to pay for a present. Who ever heard of such a thing? I think it is enough to enjoy the gift, and feel truly grateful for it. I suppose if that is the principle you act from, you will not come over and take lessons with me, unless you can pay for your tuition, and paper and pencils too.

“ You have spoken truly what I did not like to say, Harry. I could not come over and feel dependent."

Then let all the dependence be on my side. I shall be very dependent on your company for my happiness, Come over, and I will feel grateful to you, and thank

you most heartily. As for the tuition, it will be nothing extra. Father hires Mr. White one hour every morning, and half of the time he stands idle, with nothing to do, while I am drawing my castles and lions. Then he is such a good man, he will feel disappointed if you do not come, now it has been spoken of. He is never so happy as when benefitting others. Now, I have followed you to your home, and left mine in the distance, and yet you have not said that you will do me a favour.”

Harry, when you made this proposal in the morning, I thanked you in words—'t was all I could do ; now I feel a warmth from your kindness, and thank you with my

whole soul. Still I cannot accept your invitation. I must maintain my independence. But this day's intercourse has drawn me nearer to you than the whole two years we have been in school together.”

“Ah ! David, but for this chilling pride you cherish, every day would draw us nearer and still nearer. We should find a great happiness in reserve for us.

You speak proudly of maintaining independence. How can you do it? Who is independent ? or, who would be? The first lesson in life is one of dependence; then, all is from the hand of father and mother. Soon other friends come in to fill up the measure of our happiness, and as the mind expands, we are gradually led to see that every blessing, even the love of parents and friends, comes to us a free gift; it was given before we were able to make any return. Nothing is earned—nothing

God gives all. And I am content in this state of dependence, trying to evince my gratitude, by making the best use of every good offered me. But I have a self-relying friend, standing alone, refusing aid because he is not able to return an equivalent. Who can conceive of folly or presumption like this! Should we carry the principle to its full extent, we must lay down the rich blessing of life ; for who can make a return to his Creator and Father ?

“ You are becoming very serious, Harry." Your strange and unaccountable conduct makes me

But I must not tarry here. Give me your hand as a pledge that you will reconsider this subject, and call on me this evening, with a different answer."

paid for.

so.

to pay

· Here is

my hand as a pledge for a call-more I cannot promise."

The boys separated, each engaged with new and strange thoughts. When David took his book, he found the learning of his lesson a difficult task. He repeated words, but their meaning did not enter his understanding. He studied on and on, while his mind was wholly occupied with a desire to learn to draw, and a determination

for his blue coat. At length, he read aloud from his book, "It is a law in natural philosophy, that no two things can occupy the same place at the same time." He paused; for he now grasped an idea. “And this is as true of the philosophy of mind,” he said, " and Harry's plan and my lesson can never grow together. I will make this promised call, leave a decided answer, and then there will be room and readiness for study."

He was soon seated at a centre table, in the pleasant parlour of Mrs. Grey, looking with Harry at some beautiful engravings and paintings. He looked at each one separately, with great delight and interest, occasionally making a remark that revealed a mind susceptible of every form of beauty. Mrs. Grey had laid aside her book, and was seated near David, sharing in his pleasure. As he laid the last one down, he said, “I have enjoyed much ; I should never tire looking at beautiful pictures ; what a treasure you possess in them.'

Yes,” said Mrs. Grey, “I value them much for their own worth and beauty; then there is a pleasant association connected with each. Many of them are offerings of kindness and love from some good friend."

From some relative, I suppose,” said David. No, from friends ;—from those persons that find pleasure in adding to the happiness of others. I was always very fond of pictures, and before I was married I had no means of gratifying this love. Yet I was not left destitute—most of these were given me then. Look at the one in the frame opposite.”

Oh, how beautiful! how very beautiful!" exclaimed David, after intensely gazing at it for some time.

“Yes, it is the most beautiful picture I have,” said Mrs. Grey; "it was a present from Mr. T., now in Italy. He was formerly one of our neighbours, and knew that I was very fond of pictures. On receiving it, I was, at first, almost oppressed with a deep feeling of gratitude, mingled with joy and delight, I thought it was too much for me to have, and I knew not how I could ever appropriately thank the generous giver. I took my pen—no words were sufficiently expressive; I arose and walked to the door, then stepped out. One of the most beautiful sunsets met my eye; my picture for the moment was forgotten, and my whole soul was enraptured, as I gazed upon the gorgeous canopy that reached from the horizon nearly to the zenith. Then there was the silvery lake below, reflecting every variety of shade and colour, that was so beautifully mingled above. Beyond this, was the deep green forest of the noble oak, interspersed with the gracefully waving elm, and the chestnut, with its delicate blossom. On one şide was the green corn, moving to the gentle breeze, and on the other rested a flock of sheep and lambs, with the shepherd and his dog. My soul was bathed in beauty; every sense was hushed, save that of con scious delight, when a soft voice whispered, “Seest thou this picture?' I said, 'Yes, and how beautiful ! Again it whispered, And hast thou thanked the giver? A sudden pang of pain pierced my heart, and I mur; mured, 'No, no; I did not think of it.' And the angel voice continued, •And thou art troubled because thon canst not find language sufficiently expressive to thank a friend for a picture, poor indeed beside this."

“I now closed my eyes against this surpassing scene of beauty, and tried to breathe words of thanksgiving, but could not. I gazed once more; beauty remained, but all delight from my soul had fled, and I returned to the house. There met me the picture I had left. I took my pen and paper, yet could write nothing, and I resolved to return the valuable present. I could not keep it. The weight of gratitude for so rich a gift was more than I could bear. At length, with feelings and thoughts much troubled, I sought my bed. It was long before sleep came, and when it did, I was quickly aroused by a sweet voice, again whispering, ‘Hast thou thanked the giver?' This time I answered, · How can I ? The

6

source.

full-toned, musical reply, I shall never forget. It has been a star of light, guiding me on the way

since that memorable evening. In softest words it said:

Open thy heart to receive ; enjoy and use every good that is offered thee. This is gratitude that is ac ceptable to the great Giver of every gift. Even thy picture upon the table is from this same all-bountiful

Our Father hath touched the heart of thy friend; He is forming it anew into His own image. Love is active there, and can find rest only in going forth into use; and wilt thou impede its onward, happy course? Wilt thou deprive thy friend of the high happiness of giving ? Even now, while thou art murmuring beneath an oppressive weight of gratitude, his soul is open, and he is receiving still greater gifts to bestow upon those worthy to receive. He is filled with heavenly delight, for he acknowledges every gift as coming from the hand of Infinite Love, therefore he is truly rich in charge of many things, while he claims nothing. Canst not thou throw aside false pride and self-reliance, and. come into this receptive state? Do this, and thou hast thanked the Giver!' The voice ceased. I slept sweetly, and in the morning felt as if I awoke to a new life. My pen moved easily; I had but to express to Mr. T. the beauty I found in his picture, and the pleasure it would ever afford me and my friends to see it hanging beside the wall of my room.

“And now, Master David, I am indebted to you for an increased pleasure this evening. Harry and I have received much from your society, and the happy expression of your face, tells us you have been no loser."

"Indeed I have enjoyed much, and feel and think what I cannot express, nor fully understand. But I will hope a night's sleep may affect me as it did you after this bright communication, that I may awake to a new life, and seek that grateful state the angel voice described. I will try to overcome my foolish pride, and receive, enjoy, and use, every gift that is offered me."

“Now you are right,” said Harry, now we can meet face to face, and heart to heart. There is no icy barrier to separate us; in a week's time we shall be one, sharing our goods, and thus doubling our joys. You

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